Borough of Washington, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: For penalty provisions applicable to violations of this chapter, see Ch. 3, Administration of Government, § 3-4, Violations and penalties.
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington 7-10-1979 by Ord. No. 19-79. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Fire Department — See Ch. 10.

Fire Prevention Code — See Ch. 42.

Fire zones — See Ch. 42A.

Conduct at fires — See Ch. 43.

Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 75.

§ 44-1
Adoption and purpose. 

§ 44-2
Authority of Fire Chief. 

§ 44-3
Interference with Fire Department operations. 

§ 44-4
Compliance with orders. 

§ 44-5
Vehicles crossing fire hose. 

§ 44-6
Authorized emergency vehicles. 

§ 44-7
Right-of-way of authorized emergency vehicles. 

§ 44-8
Vehicles following fire apparatus. 

§ 44-9
Boarding or tampering with Fire Department emergency equipment. 

§ 44-10
Injuring Fire Department equipment or personnel. 

§ 44-11
Regulations for emergency vehicle operation. 

§ 44-12
Blocking hydrants and Fire Department connections. 

§ 44-13
Hydrant use approval. 

§ 44-14
Public water supply and facilities for fire suppression. 

§ 44-15
Special requirements for high-hazard areas. 

§ 44-16
Accessibility and maintenance of fire-suppression equipment. 

§ 44-17
Sale of unapproved fire extinguishers. 

§ 44-18
Street obstructions. 

There is hereby adopted by the Borough of Washington the fire control measures and regulations as hereby set forth for the purposes of controlling conditions which could impede or interfere with fire-suppression forces.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

The Fire Chief, or his duly authorized representatives, as may be in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life and/or property, is empowered to direct such operations as may be necessary to extinguish or control any suspected or reported fires, gas leaks or other hazardous conditions or situations or to take any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of his duty. The Fire Chief may prohibit any person, vehicle or object from approaching the scene and may remove or cause to be removed from the scene any person, vehicle or object which may impede or interfere with the operations of the Fire Department. The Fire Chief may remove or cause to be removed any person, vehicle or object from hazardous areas. All persons ordered to leave a hazardous area shall do so immediately and shall not reenter the area until authorized to do so by the Fire Chief.

It shall be unlawful to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or restrict the mobility of or block the path of travel of any Fire Department emergency vehicle in any way or to interfere with, attempt to interfere with, conspire to interfere with, obstruct or hamper any Fire Department operation.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A person shall not willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the Fire Chief or interfere with the compliance attempts of another individual.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A vehicle shall not be driven or propelled over any unprotected fire hose of the Fire Department when laid down on any street, alleyway, private drive or any other vehicular roadway without the consent of the Fire Chief in command of said operation.

Authorized emergency vehicles shall be restricted to those which are defined and authorized under the laws of the State of New Jersey.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

Upon the approach of any authorized emergency vehicle giving an audible and visual signal, the operator of every other vehicle shall immediately drive the same to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the street or roadway, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle or vehicles shall have passed, unless otherwise directed by the Fire Chief or a police officer.

It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle other than one on official business to follow closer than 300 feet from any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm or to drive any vehicle within the block or immediate area where the fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A person shall not, without proper authorization from the Fire Chief in charge of said Fire Department emergency equipment, cling to, attach himself to, climb upon or into, board or swing upon any Fire Department emergency vehicle, whether the same is in motion or at rest, or sound the siren, horn, bell or other sound-producing device thereon, or manipulate or tamper with or attempt to manipulate or tamper with any levers, valves, switches, starting devices, brakes, pumps or any equipment or protective clothing on or a part of any Fire Department emergency vehicle.

It shall be unlawful for any person to damage or deface or attempt or conspire to damage or deface any Fire Department emergency vehicle at any time, or to injure or attempt to injure or conspire to injure Fire Department personnel while performing departmental duties.


The driver of any emergency vehicle, as defined in § 44-6 of this chapter, shall not sound the siren thereon or have the front red lights on or disobey any existing traffic regulation except when said vehicle is responding to an emergency call or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire. Tactical strategies such as, but not restricted to, move-ups do not constitute an emergency call.


The driver of an emergency vehicle may:


Park or stand irrespective of the provisions of existing traffic regulations.


Proceed past a red or stop signal or other sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe inspection.


Exceed the prima facie speed limit so long as he does not endanger life or property.


Disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.


The exemptions granted in Subsection B above to an emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver of any such vehicle in motion sounds an audible signal by bell, siren or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary and when the vehicle is equipped with at least one lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle.


It shall be unlawful to obscure from view, damage, deface, obstruct or restrict the access to any fire hydrant or any Fire Department connection for the pressurization of fire-suppression systems, including fire hydrants and Fire Department connections that are located on public or private streets and access lanes or on private property.


If, upon the expiration of the time mentioned in a notice of violation, obstructions or encroachments are not removed, the Fire Chief shall proceed to remove the same. Cost incurred in the performance of necessary work shall be paid from the municipal treasury on certificate of the Fire Chief and with the approval of the chief administrative official, and the legal authority of the municipality shall institute appropriate action for the recovery of such costs.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A person shall not use or operate any fire hydrant intended for use of the Fire Department for fire-suppression purposes unless such person first secures a permit for such use from the Fire Chief and the water company having jurisdiction. This section shall not apply to the use of such hydrants by a person employed by and authorized to make such use by the water company having jurisdiction.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

The Fire Chief shall recommend to the chief administrative official of the municipality the location or relocation of new or existing fire hydrants and the placement or replacement of inadequate water mains located upon public property and deemed necessary to provide an adequate fire flow and distribution pattern. A fire hydrant shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the Fire Chief.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

All new and existing shipyards, oil storage plants, lumberyards, amusement or exhibition parks and educational or institutional complexes and similar occupancies and uses involving high fire or life hazards and which are located more than 150 feet from a public street or which require quantities of water beyond the capabilities of the public water distribution system shall be provided with properly placed fire hydrants. Such fire hydrants shall be capable of supplying fire flows as required by the Fire Chief and shall be connected to a water system in accordance with the accepted engineering practices. The Fire Chief shall designate and approve the number and location of fire hydrants. The Fire Chief may require the installation of sufficient fire hose and equipment housed in accordance with the approved rules and may require the establishment of a trained fire brigade when the hazard involved requires such measures. Private hydrants shall not be placed into or removed from service until approved by the Fire Chief.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A person shall not obstruct, remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant or fire appliance required to be installed or maintained under the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training or testing purposes, recharging, making necessary repairs or when permitted by the Fire Chief. Whenever a fire appliance is removed as herein permitted, it shall be replaced or reinstalled as soon as the purpose for which it was removed has been accomplished. Defective and nonapproved fire appliances or equipment shall be replaced or repaired as directed by the Fire Chief.

[Amended 8-13-1985 by Ord. No. 20-85]

A person shall not sell, trade, loan or give away any form, type or kind of fire extinguisher which is not approved by the Fire Chief or which is not in proper working order or the contents of which do not meet the requirements of the Fire Chief. The requirements of this section do not apply to the sale, trade or exchange of obsolete or damaged equipment for junk when said units are permanently disfigured or marked with a permanent sign identifying the unit as junk.

A person or persons shall not erect, construct, place or maintain any bumps, fences, gates, chains, bars, pipes, wood or metal horses or any other type of obstruction in or on any street within the boundaries of the municipality. The word "street," as used in this chapter, shall mean any roadway accessible to the public for vehicular traffic, including but not limited to private streets or access lanes as well as all public streets and highways within the boundaries of the municipality.

Editor's Note: Former § 44-19, Installation of smoke detectors, added 4-28-1981 by Ord. No. 7-81, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 10-6-1992 by Ord. No. 26-92.